Although it doesn't include the River Kennet, a new book from well known international paddler Pete Knowles is now available for anyone searching for a wider range of canoeing and kayaking destinations in the region . The excellent "Pub Paddles - The Best Short Canoe Trips in the South of England" offers easily accessible guidance to 26 suggested trips of between 3km and 18km distance.
[Image courtesy of Rivers Publishing U.K.]
Already drawing acclaim from within the UK canoeing community, this book "has filled a significant gap in the coverage of paddling guidebooks", enclosing the recreational easy-paddling map of the SE within a boundary ranging from Colchester and Cambridge in the east, across to Oxford in the west and down to Southampton.
With a strongly family friendly focus, most of the trips are 'graded' as either "easy" or "very easy", and just 3 are described under a heading of "experience needed", although reference is made to some of the local playspots on route. Clear maps and plenty of photographs support the easy to follow descriptions of put-in and take-out locations, with parking places noted throughout, and useful suggestions provided for either shortening or lengthening trips.
As the title indicates, riverside pubs also make more than an occasional appearance, and for this reason I'm grateful to the author and his co-contributors for not having included the Kennet, as I now need to do some research to remediate the clearly identified hole in this blog.
"Pub Paddles" is available through major on-line and high street booksellers.